Originally Posted by AngryScientist
-how do you pronounce brevet?
-what is a brevet, a fleche, a permanent, etc?
-what are popular choices for some of the required equipment like reflective vests, ankle straps, etc?
-what is my mental and physical limit?
-what to expect at control checkpoints / control cards, etc?
-what are the real requirements to get to PBP?
-how much junk is too much to carry, how much is not enough?
-damn i love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, will i ever get tired of them?
"Bruh-vay". See http://www.rusa.org/glossary.html
. If you say "brev-it", we've heard it before, know what you mean, but may correct you on it.
fleche, perm, etc- see the glossary.
Reflective vests, ankle straps- see the RUSA website and your local bike shop. Also, reflective vests as used by construction workers are okay to use, they just tend to be bulkier and looser than cycling-specific stuff. We don't all use the same stuff, either.
In this area, the controls are convenience stores, you buy stuff, and ask the clerk if they wouldn't please put the time and their initials on that little spot right there. And you get a receipt if it's a perm and not a brevet.
To get to PBP- "Ain't you heard about the new fashion honey, all it takes is looks and a whole lot of money..."- Billy Joel. Anyway, go ride a series with your local club (ie, a 200, 300, 400, 600) and you oughta be qualified. Go ride a whole gob of miles in good weather and bad, and maybe you'll be prepared.
Junk- is highly variable. The good riders in this area don't carry much. The ones that carry the most are generally the ones that ride the least. In colder states, you're obligated to tote more crap so you don't freeze to death or something. Down here, you tote a camelbak in the summer to ward off heat strokes.
PB&J- What tastes good to me the first stop or two (ie, junk food, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, etc) no longer tastes good at 200 miles. So after a while on the bike, I'm buying barbecue sandwiches, pimento cheese sandwiches, beanie wienie, etc. Whatever tastes good at the time.